Kiteboarding Math and Science

We explored the following:
  • shape, size and weight of the two kite boards; one was fiberglass and 11 pounds and the other carbon fiber and less than 5 pounds
  • shape and square meters of the 8, 12, and 17 meter kite; pumped up the various kites; each section of the kite is in the shape of a trapezoid or a pentagon
  • they each held meter sticks and we distinguished between a linear meter and a square meter (the kites are measured in square meters)
  • compared yard sticks and meter sticks so they could see that a meter its approximately 3.5 inches longer than a yard
  • reviewed the weight of rider to wind speed and kite size (see page 4 of pdf)
  • challenged them to look at the chart to see which kite size they would have to use in various wind conditions given their weight (the charts only go down to 95 pounds so they will have to extrapolate and estimate given their smaller weights
  • taught them how to generate power in the wind window from a kite direction of 9, 10, 11, 12, 1, 2, and 3 o”clock (we even talked about the degree measurements of each angle; 30 degrees for each hour (1/12th of 360)); I used pipe-cleaners to have them shape the leading edge of a kite into an arc and then they flew them in the power curve to generate power; taught them about a trigonometric sine curve from 12 to 10 to 11 or from 12 to 2 to 1 to generate maximum power
  • they concluded that the maximum power would be at 10:30 and 1:30 generating an angle of 45 degrees from the vertical and horizontal; also, from 10:30 to 1:30, many were able to see that this was a 90 degree right angle 
  • analyzed the harness, bar, and safety lines that fly the kite
  • BEST PART: I showed them videos of children from 3-10 years old kitesurfing
Mathlete Fun Work you can do during the week with your parents (NO PRESSURE THIS WEEK TO PRODUCE EVIDENCE OF THEIR WORK; JUST HAVE FUN EXPLORING):
  1. use clock terminology to indicate the location of objects. Remember, it has to be clear what is 12 o’clock (for example, in a car, forward is 12 o’clock and directly behind you is 6 o’clock).
  2. use your power of estimating distance to walk off the length of horizontal objects (for example, the length of a fence, tennis court, soccer field).
  3. determine the direction of the wind by first determining true north (use a compass on a smart phone or use the sun [generally rises in east and sets in the west]). If you are facing south-west and the wind is in your face, we call this a south-west wind.
  4. if you are ambitious, look at the graph that shows wind speed, rider weight, and kite size and try to extrapolate what size kite you would need in different wind speeds. Also, look at your parent’s weight and figure out what kite size they would need.
  5. watch these videos of kids kitesurfing; this could be you someday:
DJK_Kiteboard_Sengekontacket.mov48.46 MB
Kiteboarding_Math_and_Science_.pdf1.37 MB